Lucia Farinati

Research project: Audio Arts Archive: From Inventory Space to Imagined Space


Audio Arts (1973-2007) was established by artist William Furlong and curator Barry Barker in 1973 as a magazine of contemporary art on cassette tape. Focused on artists' voices and sound works Audio Arts expanded the traditional scope of a printed magazine from the representation of visual art into an alternative art space in itself. This thesis addresses the complexities of Audio Arts through two strands of research. The first, The Inventory Space, traces the multifaceted history of the sound magazine by highlighting the relationship between the editorial, curatorial and artistic activity developed by Furlong and his collaborators. It also examines the relationship between the re-organisation of the Audio Arts Archive (since its acquisition in 2004 by Tate) and the way it was previously used creatively by Furlong in the production of new sound works. The Imagined Space elaborates a performative methodology through the curatorial project Activating the Audio Arts Archive. In collaboration with the Tate Archive I explored how listening to (and within) the archive contributes to a dialogic methodology which puts the voices of former collaborators of Audio Arts centre stage. By imagining the life of the Audio Arts Archive beyond its inventory, I establish a creative space for a co-constructed historical narrative through the contribution of written texts, new conversations, recordings and performative acts. Structured in two parts, the thesis investigates the tension between inventory space and imagined space, the indexical and paradigmatic organisation of archival documents and its affective and performative activation. It comprises four written chapters, two audio chapters and the conclusion. The audio chapters include a body of new interviews I conducted with former collaborators of Audio Arts and four audio essays produced from the four public curatorial events. The research contributes to the field of art history, curatorial practice and sonic studies by providing a unified historical and performative methodology for understanding the complex legacy of Audio Arts. This legacy I conclude lies at the intersection of sound art and sculpture, critical and curatorial practice, and oral and aural art history.


I am a researcher, curator and activist. I was an interviewer for Audio Arts (2005-7) and have curated a series of key exhibitions presenting William Furlong's soundworks (Sound Art Museum, Rome 2006; Plymouth Arts Centre, 2006/7; Flat Time House, London 2010; Villa Romana, Florence 2013). In collaboration with Furlong I organized the symposium Active Archive, British School at Rome (2006) and also contributed to the symposium Off the Record: The history and legacy of Audio Arts Magazine on contemporary art, Tate Britain (2012). Since 2007 I have worked under the collective name Sound Threshold, a curatorial project that explores the relationships between site, sound and text. Since 2010 I have been working with the Precarious Workers Brigade collective, shifting from a production oriented practice into participatory action research, and expanding my interest in sound from the curation of site-specific projects into the analysis of voice and listening as a political practice.

As part of Activating the Audio Arts Archive I have curated the following sound seminars:

From transcription to transduction: Joseph Beuys revisited, 18 May, Five Years, London; Listening to Audio Arts sound works, in conversation with Michael Archer, 23 May 2018, Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston; Listening to Audio Arts, in conversation with Susan Hiller, as part of Show and Tell, Tate Archive, 7 Sep 2018; Women's voices and sound works in Audio Arts magazine. In conversation with Jean Wainwright, as part of Show and Tell, Tate Archive, 7 June 2019.

Areas of research interest

  • contemporary art
  • dialogic aesthetics
  • sound and listening
  • feminism
  • art and activism
  • performative archives
  • participatory action research
  • cooperativization and commoning


  • 2004 MA Creative Curating, Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK
  • 1996 Laurea in Lettere moderne (110 e lode:100% cum laude – equivalent first class B.A. Hons. Italian Literature with distinction) Faculty of Humanities, University of Trento, Italy. Final dissertation Cultural policy for contemporary art and young artists, 250 pgs

Funding or awards received

  • Kingston studentship 2016-2019
  • KSA Faculty Research, Event and Conference Fund 2016-2017
  • Graduate Research School Activity Support Fund 2017-18
  • KSA Faculty Research, Event and Conference Fund, Nov 2018
  • Graduate Research School Activity Support Fund, March 2019
  • KSA Faculty Research, Event and Conference Fund, April 2019
  • GRS Completion Bursary Sep 2019


Books Sections

Farinati, L. 2013. Architectures/Fictions/Re-enactments. In Ursula Mayer - But We Loved Her, eds. A. Husslein-Arco, B. Steinbrügge and U. Blickle, 170-172. Wien: Verlag für moderne Kunst Nürnberg GmbH. ISBN: 9783902805348

Farinati, L. 2009. Public art in the UK. Cues and reflections on the "Found Wanting" project. In Public art a Trieste e dintorni., eds. M. Campitelli, E. Vladilo, 189-191. Milan: Silvana Editoriale. ISBN 9788836613106.

Farinati, L. 2007. William Furlong: Audio Arts. In Annisettanta. il decennio lungo del secolo breve, eds. M. Belpoliti, G. Canova and S. Chiodi. Milan: Skira. ISBN 9788861301757

Jump to: Book | Book Section | Thesis
Number of items: 6.


Farinati, Lucia and Firth, Claudia (2017) The force of listening. Berlin, Germany : Errant Bodies Press. 198p. (Doormats, 6) ISBN 9780997874402

Cascella, Daniela and Farinati, Lucia, eds. (2010) Cut & splice : transmission. London, U.K. : Sound and Music. 200p. ISBN 9781907378034

Book Section

Farinati, Lucia (2013) Architectures/fictions/re-enactments. In: Husslein-Arco, Agnes , Steinbrugge, Bettina and Blickle, Ursula, (eds.) Ursula Mayer: but we loved her. Nürnberg, Germany : Verlag für moderne Kunst. pp. 170-172. ISBN 9783869844794

Farinati, Lucia (2009) Public art in the UK. Cues and reflections on the "Found Wanting" project. In: Campitelli, M and Vladilo, E, (eds.) Public art a Trieste e dintorni. Milan, Italy. : Silvana. pp. 189-191. ISBN 9788836613106

Farinati, Lucia (2007) William Furlong: Audio Arts. In: Belpoliti, Marco , Canova, Gianni and Chiodi, Stefano, (eds.) Anni Settanti: il decennio lungo del secolo breve. Milan, Italy : Skira. pp. 53. ISBN 9788861304741


Farinati, Lucia (2020) Audio arts archive : from inventory space to imagined space. (PhD thesis), Kingston University, .

This list was generated on Wed Apr 17 05:41:49 2024 BST.

Conference papers


Listening at the Intersections workshop, University of Roehampton, 26 June 2019

Audio Arts Archive: From Inventory Space to Imagined Space, The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, Research Lunch seminar, 31 May 2019

Audio Arts Sound Works, talk for Sonic Electronics Festival, Iklectik Art Lab, 30 May 2019

The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art - Doctoral Network Summer Symposium, presentation for the roundtable on Archives, Archaeology, History and Collections, 10 May 20192019

The Artist Interview: an interdisciplinary approach to its history, process and dissemination; a session co-convened for the Association for Art History Annual Conference -  University of Brighton, 6 April 2019 

Listen and tell: dialogic strategies for activating the archive, a paper for the conference Activating the Archive. Feminist Politics, Artistic Strategies, as part of Flashpoint, Goldsmiths University, 28 February 2019 (unpublished)


Practices of Listening at the intersection of art and activism, online paper for the conference The Politics of Listening, School of Arts and Media, University of NSW, Sydney, 29 November 2018 (unpublished)

From Carla Lonzi to the Force of Listening: voice and listening in dialogic practices, London College of Communication, London, Visiting speaker, 29 November 2018 (unpublished)

Listening Politics, chair and paper for the international sound festival Tuned City, Messene, Greece, 1 June 2018 (unpublished)

Listening in Solidarity, Listening in Disagreement, workshop and presentation, Glasgow International, Mitchell, Library Glasgow, 4-7 May 2018 (unpublished)

Activating the Audio Arts Archive: From Inventory Space to Imagined Space, in Life on the Outskirts Symposium: inspiration and interventions in small creative archives, Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University, 9th February 2018 (unpublished)


Activating the Audio Arts Archive: From Inventory Space to Imagined Space, in Unpacking the Archive: Methodologies and Challenges in Design History, 24 March 2017, Royal College of Art, London (unpublished)

The Force of Listening, in Giving Life to Politics: The Work of Adriana Cavarero, CAPPE, University of Brighton, 19 – 21 June 2017 (unpublished)

Three textual interferences in response to Sophie Sleigh Johnson's work, in Flashpoint 1, Immurement, Art Research Seminar 1, Goldsmiths University of London, Department of Art, 5 October 2017 (unpublished)

La vocalità tra arte e politica: da Carla Lonzi alle pratiche dialogiche contemporanee, in La Lotta per il Teatro, IUAV University, Venice 19-20 October 2017 (published)